Back to Blog

NHS National Maternity Review

Advances in our healthcare and related technologies means that more and more women are now able to conceive. Unfortunately, with a rising birth rate and higher number of complex and high risk pregnancies, our maternity care system is under immense pressure and the dream of a happy and healthy family does not always come true.

Birth should be a positive experience for every woman and her family. Sadly the UK still sees a higher stillbirth rate than other high-income countries reports have suggested. The clinical negligence team at JMW works with many families whose birth experience has been overshadowed by trauma, some resulting in stillbirths or a diagnosis of avoidable cerebral palsy. These sorts of tragedies have been recently highlighted by the report into maternity care at University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust and prompted criticisms of the current maternity systems.

To try and improve services and outcomes nationwide, the NHS is currently undertaking a National Maternity Review. This aims to assess current maternity care provisions and consider how services should be developed to meet the changing needs of women and babies.

As a former midwife and now Nurse Paralegal at JMW, I understand the need for this review. NHS midwives and other health care professionals are drastically overworked and under supported, and some of the systems currently in place often don’t meet the patients’ needs. These circumstances can sometimes lead to avoidable errors, which in maternity care can lead to distressing and lifelong complications.

The review is expected to conclude and publish its proposals by the end of the year. I really hope that any recommendations can be implemented to help make giving birth as positive and safe as it can be. Thankfully most births within the NHS do go well, however any avoidable injury to a new mum or baby is one too many.

Share this